Garrett and Vanderbeken each offer unique skill sets

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Fred Hoiberg spent the last few seasons assessing the NBA potential of basketball players around the world.

When he became ISU’s head coach, Fred inherited two seniors (Diante Garrett and Jamie Vanderbeken), and each has impressed the first-year coach with his skill set.

"(Garrett) is putting himself into position to have a chance (at the next level)," Hoiberg said Monday. "His decision making is better, his pull-ups are better and he’s added a floater to his game."

That explains an eight-point increase in his scoring average. Garrett is tied for third in league scoring and he is first in assists. Garrett has accounted for 28.9 points per game, best in the Big 12. That is nearly three points higher than his nearest competitor.

"Small guards have a tough time in the NBA," Hoiberg said. "Diante is 6-3 1/2 at the point position and he’s got the speed and quickness to play in that league."

Hoiberg admitted at his news conference that Vanderbeken is a long shot to play at Texas A&M on Wednesday.

But while discussing his likely absence, Hoiberg said the long-range shooting big man also owns an intriguing skill set. The 6-11 Vanderbeken is third in the Big 12 in three pointers made and sixth in percentage. Only guards are ahead of him on those lists.

"Jamie can do a lot of unique things with his ability to space the floor," Hoiberg said. "He is a guy we run a lot of our offense through."

Three of the NBA’s top three-point percentages – #1 Matt Bonner (SA), #2 Shawne Williams (NYK) and #10 Kevin Love (MIN) – belong to players 6-foot-9 or taller. Good shooting big men are at a premium and Hoiberg can’t wait until his specialist is healthy enough to contribute again for the Cyclones.

Reader feedback is welcome at 2minutetimeout@iastate.edu. You can also follow me on Twitter at: twitter.com/SteveMalchow

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